Swede holds off Claydon's charge

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Anders Forsbrand held on to win the German Masters in Berlin yesterday, despite a gallant effort by Russell Claydon, who twice shared the lead with the Swede in the closing stages.

Claydon, who began the last round six shots behind Forsbrand, birdied six of his first 10 holes to draw level, but fell behind when he bogeyed the 11th and caught his rival again with a birdie at the 12th. But that was his final effort and Forsbrand drew away again to finish in 69 and win his sixth European Tour title with a four-round aggregate of 264, 24 under par.

Bernhard Langer passed Claydon in the final holes to finish in 66 for second place on 266, with the Englishman, round in 67, third on 268.

Sam Torrance now leads the Order of Merit by just under pounds 4,000 from Colin Montgomerie, with Langer in third and only the Volvo Masters in Valderrama later this month to come.

Torrance, who shot 68 yesterday for 277, has set his heart on finishing on top of the table for the first time in a 24-year professional career and said confidently: "Well, I'm in pole position. Monty and Bernhard have got to catch me, so the pressure will be all on them in Valderrama."

"I thought I had a chance of winning when I caught Anders at the 10th hole," Claydon said. "But I missed two short putts at the 16th and 17th, and those are the ones you have to take if you are going to win a tournament.

"But I'm pleased with the week, my best of the year. I shot a course record of 61 on Friday, but my 74 yesterday did too much damage to my chances. But I'm in at Valderrama and that can't be bad."

Forsbrand's score of 264 was the lowest total on the European Tour this year, beating the 267 set by Germany's Alexander Cejka in the Austrian Open in August.

"Obviously I was feeling the pressure," Forsbrand said. "Especially as I was playing with Bernhard before a German crowd. I was only vaguely aware that Russell had caught me after his 10th hole, but when Bernhard three-putted the 15th and I heard that Russell had dropped a shot at the 16th, I thought I might do it."

Forsbrand, who is attached to the Valderrama Club, will play in the Volvo Masters there this month, but his long-term plan is to make the European Ryder Cup team that plays the United States there in 1997.

MERCEDES GERMAN MASTERS (Berlin) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 264 A Forsbrand (Swe) 64 64 67 69. 266 B Langer (Ger) 67 66 67 66. 268 R Claydon 66 61 74 67. 269 P-U Johansson (Swe) 64 66 71 68; J Parnevik (Swe) 68 64 70 67. 271 P Eales 65 69 70 67; J Haeggman (Swe) 67 67 68 69. 272 H Thul (Ger) 70 70 66 66; J Coceres (Arg) 68 73 65 66; S Struver (Ger) 69 71 65 67; R Boxall 71 66 67 68; I Garrido (Sp) 70 66 67 69. 273 T Lehman (US) 67 67 70 69; J Sandelin (Swe) 67 67 70 69. 274 R Allenby (Aus) 71 67 71 65; R Karlsson (Swe) 69 70 69 66; J Townsend (US) 68 74 66 66; P Teravainen (US) 69 69 69 67; S Grappasonni (It) 68 71 67 68; S Richardson 69 68 68 69; S Lyle 67 72 66 69; G Turner (NZ) 67 68 69 70; J Payne 68 66 69 71. 275 P Hedblom (Swe) 67 66 75 67; M Mackenzie 67 72 69 67; M-A Jimenez (Sp) 66 67 74 68; V Singh (Fiji) 73 63 71 68; P Mitchell 68 64 71 72; R Goosen (SA) 64 69 70 72. 276 J Rivero (Sp) 69 70 70 67; S Ames (Trin) 69 70 67 70; F Lindgren (Swe) 68 63 72 73. 277 R Rafferty 71 70 71 65; S Torrance 71 70 68 68; M-A Martin (Sp) 68 72 69 68; R McFarlane 73 64 71 69; A Coltart 69 71 68 69; K Eriksson (Swe) 64 73 70 70; S Luna (Sp) 67 67 72 71; A Sherborne 69 65 71 72; E Simsek (Ger) 74 64 67 72.

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